Home / Herbalist / Lichen


Useful properties and applications of lichen

The beneficial properties of lichen

The useful properties of the lichen was known in Ancient Egypt and Medieval Europe. In those days, scientists have not yet studied the biological composition of this medicinal plant and used it exclusively for religious reasons. However, already at that time in many cases noted a positive effect from such treatment. What is the secret healing power of lichen? The clue lies in its biological composition.

In the mid-twentieth century medicine really began to study the medicinal properties of lichen. The studies revealed the presence of a so-called lichen acids, among which worth mentioning usnic, barbatov, homeprotector and Samatova acid. They contain some lichen species, able to demonstrate a strong antibacterial effect. In addition, scientists from France, USA, Russia and several other countries have identified the antibiotic effect of these living organisms.

As a result of the research was discovered the whole group of antibiotics, influencing on bacteria and inflammation. For example, some species inhibited the growth of staphylococci, while others had an antibacterial effect on different species of parasites. In addition, lichens contain beneficial to human body fats, proteins, carbohydrates and other elements. The content of these substances varies in different species.

The use of lichen

In many countries these healing groups of organisms are part of drugs used to combat boils, streptococci, staphylococci, lupus and other skin diseases. Based cure lichen is effective in the treatment of varicose and trophic ulcers, removal of inflammatory processes in soft tissues, for some gynecological diseases and burns. They are also used during plastic surgeries. Drugs from certain lichens have a strong antimicrobial effect.

In folk medicine, the lichen was used over four thousand years ago. In some Scandinavian countries its teas are still used for the treatment of tuberculosis, catarrh, colds. There is a good tonic and therapeutic effects of these drugs.

A decoction of cough: a tablespoon of lichen (Parmelia) need to pour a liter of water, put in a water bath after boiling, cook for two hours. Taking this product it for 3times a day half an hour before meals. Keep broth in the refrigerator is necessary. It is recommended to drink warm.

Lichens on trees

The appearance of lichens is extremely adversely affects the development of the tree. Growing on trunk and branches, they clog pores and prevent the circulation of wood. In addition, they provide a good habitat for insect pests. The appearance on the trees of this vegetation is often associated with the aging of the wood, poor care, severe frosts, resulting in cracking of the bark. All these unfavourable factors greatly reduce the ability of wood to resist pathogens.

At the first appearance of lichens immediately you need to clean off. This usually uses a wooden scraper, which handles all malicious vegetation on the trunk and branches. All the bare places are treated with a special solution of iron sulphate, otherwise infection may recur. To protect the trees from colonies of these parasitic organisms, in the late fall and winter produce a whitewash the trunks. However, it should be noted that the appearance of lichens indicates good ecology of this place.

Lichen species

The Lichen Parmelia. Parmelia is widely used in folk medicine for the treatment of severe cough, acute colitis, tuberculosis of lungs, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Preparations from it have a calming effect on the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract and have a tonic effect. Decoctions are applied externally in the form of compresses and lotions for washing purulent wounds and trophic ulcers. Parmelia produces excellent healing effect. Some recipes of traditional medicine with the participation of the lichen is actively used now.

Recipe for compresses: 5 tablespoons of lichen, pour half a liter of water, bring to a boil and cook over high heat for 25-30 minutes, then infuse at room temperature until cool, then drain and squeeze raw materials. The product is taken topically.

The lichen-bearded

The lichen-bearded differs pronounced antimicrobial properties that makes it a good remedy for skin diseases and trophic ulcers. Like many other lichens, bearded man is a natural antibiotic. Preparations based on it have anti-inflammatory, enveloping, expectorant, wound healing and antiviralimpact. From a medical point of view the most useful component of the bearded man is usnic acid.

This acid helps you to more effectively cope with various diseases of the lungs and bronchi. In folk medicine, the beard are often used to strengthen the immune system. It grows mainly in the boreal forests. As a drug it going even in winter.

Lichens bushy

This group is very easy to learn, because these lichens have a peculiar shape hanging beard. Their thalli can be of different sizes – from a few centimeters to half a meter. Due to high content of fats, proteins and carbohydrates they can serve as food for cattle, but due to the insufficient number of vitamins that the diet cannot be considered complete.

These include the following types: palmate Cladonia, Usnea longissima, alectoria pale ohrana. Some bushy lichens are included in the basis of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial drugs. They are widely used in folk medicine for the treatment of flu, colds and some gastrointestinal diseases.

Lichens scale

To scale lichens include: letsideya congested, Lecanora a variety of other types. Their thallus is generally the crust, whose thickness can be varied. Scale of the thallus, usually small in size, their diameter can be several millimeters or centimeters, although in some cases it can reach twenty to thirty centimetres.

Such lichens can be used as bioindicators. Later they all leave the territory with a bad environment, but if they had gone there, so the case is very bad. For its strong antiviral and antimicrobial actions of lichens have been recognized in the pharmacology of many countries. In folk medicine, they are widely used for the treatment of purulent wounds and cough.

Lichens sheet

A lichen thallus of this species is in the form of leaf-shaped plates, located horizontally on the substrate. The old lichens it becomes irregular in shape, although usually have round contours. The main feature of leaf is its dorzoventral'no thallus structure, due to which the upper surface is different in color and structure from the bottom surface.

Due to the high content of various mineral acids these unique organisms are widely used in folk and official medicine. The preparations on their basis are effective in combating various skin diseases, trophic ulcers,diseases of the respiratory tract. The main curative component is considered to be usnic acid.

Epiphytic lichens

Epiphytic lichens are excellent bioindicators of environmental pollution since all necessary for the life of the components they get from the air. They essentially help scientists in environmental monitoring. The best-known species are Parmelia olive and hypogymnia swollen. Their peculiarity lies in the absolute intolerance of any pollution, so they are impossible to find closer than 50 km from the industrial areas or factories.

The lichen zolotanka

It is a collection of rosettes of orange-yellow color, consisting of broad, rounded lobes. Growing on the treated wood, fences or wooden buildings. This species is very susceptible to contamination. Used in industry for dyeing cloth red.

Lichen reindeer moss

Contains usnic acid, which gives it strong antibiotic properties, so drugs are widely used in folk and traditional medicine. The name of the lichen was due to addiction to it these animals. In the winter months it can be up to 90% of their diet. The contents of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, sugars, and other beneficial ingredients makes this type of lichen is very nutritious. Its only drawback is the lack of sufficient amounts of vitamins.

Contraindications to the use of lichen

Contraindications to the use of the lichen is still not fully understood. Possible allergic reactions to its individual components. It is also impossible to exclude individual intolerance. Preparations on the basis of lichens is not recommended to use for pregnant and nursing mothers – the possible adverse side effects. Before starting treatment you should consult with your doctor.